Tuesday 27 June 2017

The Alphabet Club - W

You might have noticed that the 'Catch Up' is now missing from the title of these posts - that is, because, even if there are only a very few days left in June, I have finally managed to catch up and will be presenting this post to you in time! Woo!
And to celebrate, there will be not only one, but two pictures of cute little Witches today:

...and also two words, that both are kind of from the 'intranslatable' category: The first one is 'wanderlust', which you probably know since the English language has 'adopted' it - it's the feeling of joy when you are out hiking, or the longing to go hiking when you are not, or, less literately, the longing to travel or to move and not stay in one place for too long. In German, 'Wandern' can not only refer to 'hiking' as a past time, but also famously to the 'Wanderjahre', the 'wandering years' - it's something that, in old times, all people of trade had to go through after finishing their apprenticeship: For some years, they had to leave their village or town and travel around, work for masters in different place and learn from them. They were not allowed to come within a set distance from their home. Some trades, especially carpenters, still practice those 'Wanderjahre' or 'Walz' today, although it's no longer mandatory to go.

The second word I want to talk about (although it's less interesting maybe) is 'Waldeinsamkeit' - being alone in the woods. Historically, it's mostly used for monks and ascetics who chose to live alone in the woods, but in modern times it can also relate to seeking out the soltitude of the forest to calm down from a hectic modern life.

So that's it for the 'W' post - I'm looking forward to July, when I will hopefully be able to get my 'X' post up right away (if I can think of anything with that letter at all!)

Thursday 22 June 2017

Two pages done

Just a quick post to catch up with my progress before I disappear for the weekend (four days of Paris with Felix and my best friend!) - as I told you, I've been working on some non-gift projects as well, and I have progress to report on both.

I have finished the June page of the Fire and Ember SAL - getting into the dragon again, so I think the next page might be interesting!

And then I have also finished another page of black on The Puppeteer - page 4, for a total of about 6.500 stitches now!

Tuesday 20 June 2017

June Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello, lovelies! A few days late, but still in time, I think, to show you some progress on my GG projects. There are a few more this month than last time, so let me get right into it!

I've been working on Sophie Sheep the last time we visited Felix' parents - on the car ride. She is slowly becoming my favourite travel project, and she's recently been promoted to 'gift stitching' - a friend of my grandma and me loves sheep, so she'll get this when done (I also have the other two kits in the series - and another friend who will love the cow, I think. The pig I will keep for myself once I get to it.) I've been stitching more on the frame section, fixing a few small mistakes as I went along, and I think I will soon be ready to start the actual sheep.

For the same trip, but the time not actually spent in the car, I also brought Fans of the Far East for a wonderful Saturday afternoon stitching session on the balcony (that was before temperatures soared and I started feeling like melting into my seat all the time...). I realized it's been a while since I showed it - not just in terms of time, but also in progress, since I used to add a thread here and there and it added up, so here are the before and after pictures.

As you can see I finished the pink band and tassels (as far as they fit the hoop) and worked more on the gold background. I really need to work more on this - there is so much more left to do, and my new goal is getting it done by Christmas, but I'm not sure that will work out if everything else I still want to work on...

Another thing I worked on (mostly in the week before our visit, but I only finished it afterwards) was this bunny comfort blanket. A coworker of mine had his second son (or rather, his wife had their second son) last winter and is going to introduce us to him soon, so of course I had to make something. For the first son, I made one of my baby jackets, but this time I wanted to try something different (they still have the jacket, after all!). The parents are a little...let's say environment-concerned and he once made a comment (I'm not entirely sure he was joking) about how I should use something more natural when I make something for his kids again...so I thought, that I can do, and I went for all natural un-dyed sheep wool. There's still a little hay in it! It's very interesting to work with, but so scratchy and stiff that I thought making clothes from that would be a little cruel, hence, the blanket-thing. I made a few changes to the pattern that brought it from pretty bunny girl to cute and sleepy bunny, and I am pretty pleased with the result - so pleased I am now making a second one with the colours reversed so both brothers can have one.

I also worked on Cut Thru' Cottage, but still not as much as I'd liked. Felix' sister and her boyfriend have now moved into their house, so I really need to get it done now! So I guess this will be my main focus for the next month or however long it takes to finish.

Last but not least, I had another finish yesterday - a pair of socks I have been knitting for Felix! I really like those colours, so my next goal is another pair of wristwarmers with the remaining yarn. I really hope they fit, but with the current heat he is refusing to try them on!

So, that's it for GG relevant projects this month! I've worked on a few other things, but I'll keep those for another post - hopefully a bit sooner this time. Just one more picture - a bit of a teaser for a new SAL I started.

It consists of several parts, and this is the outline of the first of them. I'll tell you more about it once I have a bit more to show!

Monday 19 June 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - V

Hello lovelies! Due to me being me (busy me, for the most part, but with a four day weekend at home with no big plans that's not much of an excuse!) I didn't get to show you my current stitching last week, but I hope to make up for that soon. Still, I can't fall behind again on TAC, so here we go with another post.

The letter is 'V', so here is a Valentine's card with two birds ("Vögel") on it! Now for my word of the week, I'll do another 'typical German' one - we had 'pünktlich/punctual' for 'P' and now we'll do 'Verspätung'/'delay' for 'V'. So the next time you are running late or have to wait for the train, you can now curse about it in German!

Thursday 8 June 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - U

I'm getting so close to catching up now - maybe I will be able to post on time next month!

I didn't find any actual U-pictures of stitching, so instead we're going to have something 'unfinished' this week - my 'Fans of the Far East', were I haven't quite managed to finish one of three fans yet! I also post this to remind you were I was on it, since I am planning to take it along for my weekend stitching this week (although the picture is not quite up to date either, but the most recent one I have).

Finding an appropriate word today was a bit more difficult, but I finally settled on 'unterbuttern'. To translate this literally is a little more difficult - 'unter' is 'under' or 'down', and 'butter' is, of course, just 'butter' as well, but what I always read it as was 'to put butter under someone'. I was wrong to think so, though! The colloquial meaning of 'unterbuttern' is to dominate or suppress someone - in the sense that you let them do stuff for you or don't let them say anything in a conversation. After a little google search I found out it actually comes from the process of butter making - when beating the cream, a lump of butter is formed, that has to be pushed down 'under' the remaining cream again and again until you are done. So it's more a 'to push the butter down' than 'to put butter under somebody'!

Friday 2 June 2017

May WIPocalypse

My apologies for being a bit late...even more so because most of the stitching here is actually a week or older...but there were some posts (and a lot of reading) I had to catch up on before getting to this.

The question of the month is Which designer’s projects do you absolutely love, but are too intimidated to try? My first thought when reading this was "Châtelaine!" but after giving it some more though, I think I'm not actually intimidated by her designs, but just shying away from the cost for now, and I haven't really decided which of her many wonderful designs I love most. I don't think I'm easily intimidated by any 'regular' stitching anymore, only maybe scared I could run out of patience! What I am intimidated by (though I am still determined to try soon!) is Hardanger, or any kind of 'cut' work really. I don't think it's difficult per se, but mistakes do happen all the time (I have to fro a stitch or two on my cross stitch almost every day), and I don't want to imagine that happening when you are getting a blade near something you've been working on for weeks!

Now, let's get down to business...what have I been working on? The last weeks were of course dominated by our trip to Cyprus, so I had to sync my crafting with that too. I did not date bring my crafting on the plane - it was my first time flying and I didn't want to risk and hold up at the security lines - but I used the car ride to the airport and back for some stitching on Sophie Sheep. I outlined the frame now and hope to start dilling in all those flowers soon.

The lectures on Cyprus, I used to crochet on my giant granny square baby blanket. The yarn I'm using for this is really interesting, it consists of four seperate strands that are not tightly twisted together, and the colour gradient is achieved by gradually replaying one strand after the other with another colour. I still have three more colour changes to go, and the blanket is about 75x75cm (30") at this time, so it's going to be a fairly small blanket, but will do, I think. It's also not perfectly square, but that will probably be fixed when blocking. The baby I'm making this for hast been born last weekend, so I better hurry up now!

After our return, I used to following four day weekend (despite catching up on gaming, household chores and shopping) to stitch on two of my ongoing Unconvential X Stitch projects. I made a bit of progress on The Puppeteer, and finished the black of page three. I'm still behind a bit, but don't you love how this is starting to show up in the negative?

I also finished the May page of Fire and Ember, and just in time too! This page had a lot of colour bloks, I think the next page that I'm about to start is a bit more complicated again.

Thursday 1 June 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - T

I think I'm quite in time for my next catchup post for a change...maybe I'll even get a post out without having to catch up one of these days, who knows!

This week's letter is 'T'. Now I could have used my turtles again, but where is the fun in that? Instead, here is a finish I made last year for Felix' grandmother, and as I was thought (I think it was by Jo), that square-stuff in the background is called a 'trellis' - I'm learning new words every day, which is just in the spirit of this SAL, right?

On the topic of words, my 'T' word is another fun one, I think - 'Torschlusspanik', literally the 'Gate close panic'. This goes back to medieval times, though in some places it was still the case in the 19th century - when the gates of cities and towns were closed at sundown, and people were hurrying to get inside and not be trapped outside over night. The word Torschlusspanik today is also used when you are scared to miss something - most typically when you feel like you are getting too old to find love/have kids/make some other experience you associate with being younger. It's probably close to a midlife crisis, but the term can also be applied to other situations.